- Shiloh International Missions
Let Us Attain to the Fullness of Christ as a Mature Man
Shiloh Lord's Day Service
Date: January 30, 2022
Scripture: Ezra 6:15, Neh 6:15, Eph 4:13, Col 1:28
Speaker: Pastor James Park
Today’s sermon is based on the 11th book of the History of Redemption series. We must understand several themes to grasp this book's meaning entirely: (1) the temple; (2) city walls, and (3) genealogies recorded of the people returning from the deportation in Babylon. As we can see from the scripture reading, temple, city wall, and genealogies were completed. In our lives today, we need to have complete faith. The nation of Babylon spiritually represents the fallen world that we live in today. Our goal as saints is to receive salvation and come out of the fallen world of Babylon. The Israelites returned to Jerusalem from Babylon in three different stages. So, too, is our salvation which can be broken into three separate levels: the spirit, soul, and body (1 Thes 5:23; Heb 12:14). The eleventh book of the history of redemption shows us how to live sanctified lives. Our spirit, soul, and body must be sanctified before Jesus returns (Luke 21:28). At the beginning of the year, we went over how God had chosen Adam to cultivate the ground, which symbolized the heart of a person. God had chosen Adam to be a man who taught and preached the Word of God. This same responsibility of cultivating the ground and preaching the Word of God has been given to us today. Adam did not have a mature faith, and because of this, he could not differentiate between good and evil, which caused him to sin. As a result, all men suffer from sin and death because of Adams's sin. For believers today, we must overcome sin and death caused by Adam’s transgressions. There is a level of maturity that needs to be attained in our lives of faith. Mature faith can only be achieved through Christ and God’s grace. Our faith cannot just stand still; it needs to be continuously growing. Our character, personality, minds, and hearts need to be renewed to take after God’s image. When we are renewed, we can partake in His divine nature. May we all rise, go forward and reach maturity in our faith.
1. We need to repent and return back to the Word of God
All work of restoration starts with the individual and communal repentance. We ask to be restored, but we are not willing to repent. God wants us to repent, not just for our sins, but also the sins of our families and nation. When we repent, God will start the work of restoration (Hos 10:12). In our lives of faith, we need to eat solid food (Heb 5:14). Parents raising little children cannot feed them milk forever because it does not contain all the necessary nutrients for growth and development. To properly mature into adult bodies, children need to have meat in their diet. It's the same for us today in our lives of faith; we cannot just eat easily digestible food like milk. We need solid food as well. This means we need to listen to the Word that requires us to think and figure out how to incorporate it into our lives. Solid food is the history of redemption. It can be hard to understand because the books talk about dates, calculations, genealogies that require us to think about the content. However, through this process of studying the history of redemption, we can incorporate, digest, and understand God’s hidden mystery. We cannot follow the ways of this world. This world has its own ideologies and philosophies (Rom 12:1-2). These days, children are growing up in a very secular world. The things they see and hear are very worldly. They learn things that they shouldn’t through videos and music on the internet. If they continue to listen and watch these things, they will change, and harbor views similar to the secular world. To prevent this, children need to hear God's Word and worship Him. The process of becoming sanctified and holy can only happen through prayer and studying the Word (1 Tim 4:5).
2. We must work together with unsparing devotion
God has given us a task as stewards of His Word. We are servants of Christ (1 Cor 4:1-2). No matter what stage in our life we are in, God has called us as stewards of the mystery of God, which is the history of redemption. Jesus Christ coming to earth and dying on the cross for our sins is the mystery of God. We have a responsibility to evangelize and proclaim this Word. We need to reflect on our lives and see how faithful we have been to that task God has given us. Apostle Paul says that the mission and completion of the mission are more important than his own life (Acts 20:24). Most people who come out to church believe that their lives are more important than the church. People who attend church need to have a willing spirit (Psalm 110:3). Some saints have two or three jobs in the church. The church is one body, the head is Christ, and members of the church are all part of that body (1 Cor 12:12-14). As one body in Christ, we cannot condemn and judge one another. When we sacrifice and dedicate ourselves to God, He will remember us. Our dedication to the church is not just for our satisfaction. When we dedicate ourselves to God, He will repay us in our lifetime and the generations to follow.
3. We need to carry out our lives of faith within the community of believers
We need to worship together as a community. Some saints believe that they don’t need to come out for worship, but can offer the same type of worship from home watching YouTube. This is not the type of worship God wants. God wants us to gather together and live our lives of faith as a community. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and foundation of the church, and we are being fitted together to grow into a holy temple (Eph 2:20-22). We need to be connected as church members. This means we need to call and pray for one another. We need to take an interest in each other’s lives. People get into the habit of not coming out to church and not meeting with each other, which are signs of the last days (Heb 10:25). We have come to Mount Zion as the holy assembly, the firstborn of God (Heb 12:22-23). Shiloh is at the forefront of the work of God’s redemption in the end times.
The people who returned from Babylonian exile completed the temple and rebuilding of the city walls. As such, their consecrated genealogies were also completed. Today, we need to have complete faith, and our effort cannot do this. We need God's sovereignty to be working in our lives. God, who has begun a good work within us, will not give up. God will not throw us away no matter where we are in our lives (Phil 1:6, Thes 5:23). God does not regret, and He holds on to us until the end (Rom 11:29). We need to understand through today's message that no matter what the circumstances are, we cannot give up. Instead, we need to stand up and continue to march forward, and carry the banner of victory. No matter what trials we go through in our lives of faith, we must be able to overcome our sins and give glory to God.